Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.35
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Nov. 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Houston
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 7.22 / 14.00 Michael Mendoza
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses with sustainability content::
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 3,734 4,133
Number of sustainability courses offered 26 39
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 134 128

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):
45

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):
54

Number of years covered by the data:
Three

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):
An inventory of the institution's course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):
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The website URL where the inventory of course offerings with sustainability content is publicly available:
A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the course inventory:

The Office of Sustainability staff searched the institution's course catalog for possible courses that either include sustainability or were a sustainability course and compiled a list of possible courses (that meet the sustainability course parameters) for each college. Additionally, the research team included courses from sustainability-focused degrees and academic programs. Each college was contacted individually to review the possible sustainability course offerings that the research team identified. Specifically, the staff in the Office contacted the dean, department chairs and faculty engaged in sustainability research or curriculum.* Some of the colleges and departments identified a liaison to review the course list, sent back the confirmed courses and added any additional courses that the Office staff missed. Other colleges and departments had individuals contact the team directly regarding their specific courses. After the data collection process was over, the Office of Sustainability staff compiled all of the feedback to create the complete sustainability course inventory for the university. If a specific course was not confirmed by the dean, department chair or faculty member, the Office of Sustainability staff reviewed the course again and decided whether or not the course was a sustainability course or a course that includes sustainability based off of the course description.

Finally, sustainability staff spoke with students from various degree programs about courses they've taken that could be considered sustainability courses. See the third sheet of the course inventory attachment for additional methodology.

*The sustainability research list was incorporated during this process to avoid multiple emails sent to the same stakeholders.


How did the institution count courses with multiple offerings or sections in the inventory?:
Each offering or section of a course was counted as an individual course

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted (if different from the options outlined above):

There were several special topics courses that included sustainability. Additionally, some undergraduate courses are also listed as graduate courses. Courses were counted as many times in the total count as they were in the sustainability course offerings.


Which of the following course types were included in the inventory?:
Yes or No
Internships Yes
Practicums Yes
Independent study Yes
Special topics Yes
Thesis/dissertation Yes
Clinical Yes
Physical education Yes
Performance arts Yes

Does the institution designate sustainability courses in its catalog of course offerings?:
No

Does the institution designate sustainability courses on student transcripts?:
No

The total number of courses is the total number of courses in the university's academic catalog. Although we counted courses with multiple offerings in the total count, internships, practica, etc., those courses were not necessarily represented in the sustainability course inventory due to insufficient evidence demonstrating those courses' sustainability relevance. However, many selected topics courses were counted when course descriptions or syllabuses could provide proof of sustainability content in the curriculum.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.